Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for October 25th, 2006

Sunday Brunch

Posted by shannonclark on October 25, 2006

I will have a bunch of people over this Sunday for brunch at my new place – if you are reading this blog and would like to join us leave me a comment or send me an email. I’ll be cooking from ingredients I pick up at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday (Ferry Building probably) so should be a lot of fun.

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Switching from my PC to a Mac – keeping iTunes ratings

Posted by shannonclark on October 25, 2006

This is a first of what will likely be a series of posts documenting what I discover as I seek to make my new iMac 24″ system functional and make it and my trusty ThinkPad T40 running Windows XP play nicely together – and together make me more productive.

Yesterday I started (it ended today) the full backup process from my PC to my new iMac – migrating over the nearly 30 gbs of data (though not yet my ~8gb of mail archives) including my full media library.

Today I tried (and finally succeeded) to make my iTunes on the iMac reflect the current state of iTunes on my PC. What I first tried was importing the files (which then copied them to another directory – default behavior on the mac) and which did not keep my many playlists or even more crucially my ratings and play counts.

I found a great resource online on how to at least migrate iTunes libraries in way that preserves my ratings and playlists. However it does not, unfortunately appear to preserve playcounts – which is a field I use extensively when managing my listening – especially managing my shuffle.

Since further Apple does not (at least last I heard) allow an iPod shuffle to work with two machines (they do let regular iPods) I will probably have to keep on using my Thinkpad as the sync machine for my Shuffle.

I looked at many podcatcher clients for the mac and so far, I am not at all impressed. They look nice and have some “features” but none of them that I have found so far have the features of Doppler Radio which I have come to really appreciate and love. Specifically Doppler Radio allows me to manage each podcast feed separately and transparently (though mac podcatchers do a much better job of integrating the rss feeds and the full posts – so they are very nice as rss readers). Each feed gets a new playlist in iTunes (something I can not imagine forgoing ever again – as I rarely want to just listen to all my podcasts – rather I want to easily select between the individual episodes). One of the mac clients has the “feature” of adding podcasts to iTunes as a podcast.

However for a shuffle user in particular this feature is nearly utterly broken. By default (and I really truly do not understand why) all podcasts go into iTunes with the “do not shuffle” checkbox selected. There is no way, at least that I can tell – and I have looked, to change this default. And it has the impact of not allowing those files to be added to a shuffle. So as a result I am very, very reluctant to use iTunes to subscribe to ANY podcasts as I have to manually make that change for each and every podcast episode when they come in if I want them to get into my shuffle automagically when I next sync it. Very frustrating and nearly useless. (keep in mind that I subscribe to about 60 podcasts or so).

Also I haven’t found a podcatcher for the mac that is as simple as Doppler Radio is when it comes to managing and auto-deleting files.  On the PC I simply set for each feed what criteria I want to use (I usually say anything that is rated 1 star) and then when I decide I do not want to keep that episode I rate it one star and the next time I sync via Doppler it gets cleaned up for me automatically.

On the mac that cleanup process appears to always be separate from the process of subscribing. And further, I can’t get the very basic stuff like “update all feeds” to work smoothly.

So my plan is to migrate all my non-podcast media to the iMac and use it into the future as where I keep most of my media (non-podcast) files. This will free about 12 gbs of data from my ThinkPad (I may keep a few gb of music I listen to most often for the occasional times I’ll want it when traveling. I probably will remove most of my podcasts from the iMac – with the exception of the ones I have rated highly and want to retain. I’ll sync my shuffle with the Thinkpad and keep using Doppler until something better comes out for the mac.

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